University of Arkansas physicists have found a way to systematically study and control the transition of graphite, the “lead” found in pencils, to graphene, one of the strongest, lightest and most conductive materials known, an important step in the process of learning to use this material in modern day technology.
The top three images of graphite are from the experiment and the lower three images were produced through theoretical calculations. The images from left to right show more displacement of the top layer of graphite and its transition to graphene.
Peng Xu, Paul Thibado, Yurong Yang, Laurent Bellaiche and their colleagues report their findings in the journal Carbon.
Physicists at the University of Manchester first isolated graphene, a one atom thick sheet of carbon atoms, by using Scotch tape to lift only the top layer off of the other layers of graphite. Electrons moving through graphite have mass and encounter resistance, but electrons moving through graphene are massless and encounter almost no resistance, which makes graphene an excellent candidate material for future energy needs and for quantum computing for enormous calculations while using little energy.
However, graphene is a new material only discovered in 2004, and many things remain unknown about its properties.
“The transition from graphite to graphene can be random,” said Xu. “Our idea was to control this.”
The researchers used a new technique called electrostatic manipulation scanning tunneling microscopy to “lift” the top layer of graphite, creating graphene. Scientists have traditionally used scanning tunneling microscopy on a stationary surface, but this new technique uses a moving surface to move between graphite and grapheme.
“Not only can we make it happen, but we can control the process,” Xu said.
Using this technique, the researchers can tell how much force it takes to create graphene and how much distance exists between graphene and the graphite as well as to track the total energy of the process.
How the electron acquires its mass is a fundamental topic and is related to particle physicists’ hunt for the Higgs boson, a long-hypothesized elementary particle that has predicted properties, such as a lack of spin and electric charge, but that does not have a predicted value for mass. Being able to move electrons between a massive and massless state allows scientists to study this duality and how it works. The level of control the scientists have over the process will allow them to figure out possible ways to use graphene for advancing this understanding.
Xu and his colleagues are researchers in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.CONTACTS:
Melissa Lutz Blouin | Newswise Science News
One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests
15.12.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology
Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells
11.12.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences